Balanced scoring helps LSU blow out Northwestern State


Mike Williams III scored 20 points to lead six-double-figure scorers and LSU dominated Northwestern State in a 96-55 victory in the final nonconference game for both teams Friday night in Baton Rouge, La. Will Baker scored 17 points, Jalen Cook added 13 points, Derek Fountain had 10 points and 10 rebounds, Hunter Dean had 11 points and 10 rebounds and Jordan Wright scored 10 for the Tigers (8-5), who raced to a 26-point halftime lead and never looked back. They begin SEC play with a road game against Texas A&M on Jan. 6. The Demons (2-11), who begin Southland Conference play at Lamar on Jan. 6, did not have a double-figure scorer and were led by Chase Forte and Jimel Lane, who scored nine points each. LSU dominated by outshooting NSU on field goals (61 percent to 35.6 percent), 3-pointers (52.4 percent to 23.8 percent) and free throws (65 percent to 57.1 percent). The Tigers scored 29 points on 20 Demons turnovers and the Demons scored just eight points off 11 Tigers turnovers. LSU had 22 assists and NSU had seven assists. The Tigers also had decided advantages in fastbreak points (22-11) and points in the paint (50-26). LSU scored the first four points of the second half to take command with a 51-21 lead and it led by as many as 45 points in the second half. The Demons’ last lead of the game was at 8-7 before Hunter’s layup put the Tigers on top. That was part of an 11-3 run that gave LSU an 18-11 lead. Lane made a 3-pointer for NSU before Cook and Williams each made a 3-pointer to help the Tigers open a 36-18 lead. Jae Slack made a jumper for the Demons, but LSU took a 47-21 halftime lead on a layup by Baker.